Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Moving Towards Change

I have a date for gastric bypass surgery: July 11,2005. It is hard to believe that after that my stomach will hold only a couple of ounces of food or water at a time, and my life will change as radically as it did after the fall at work on August 7, 2003. Perhaps more radically.  

As some of you may have noticed, I am not someone who rushes into change with wild optimism and enthusiasm. My most inner being whispers that change is bad, difficult, painful, dangerous, and I might-no probably will-die. Not from the surgery, you understand, but from the changes brought down upon my head by any big move forward on my part.  

In my head I know that I don't die from changes, even major big ones. My experience in the second half of my life is that I actually survive quite nicely. After a period of inner turmoil and strife, I come up with-or am given-images and insights which I use in some unknowable inner process to first cope and then grow. I don't know how or why this works for me, but it does, and I am blessed by the process.  

My heart, battered as it is by scars and bypasses, wants to keep on beating so I can continue to look for new ways to grow and change. I want  to live and express love by giving it back to the universe in new and different ways.  

 So I plan to move as serenely as possible into this surgery, accepting the risk and the profound changes it will bring. I will only look a few steps ahead (although I have done my research and know exactly what is ahead of me) lest I panic and freak and fall back into old patterns just when I need new patterns to blossom.  

 Blessings, Margo  

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Too many appointments!

  Even though it is still chilly here in Southeastern CT, spring is slowly leaching over into summer, as the irises begin to bloom, and the trees leaf out more each day. I have lived in my little rundown red house for 26 years, and can measure time by the blooming of neighborhood gardens and the leafing of different trees. For this I am truly grateful, because I am concentrating on getting pleasure out of the little things at the moment. 


This month has been stressful, and I now realize that, counting physical and mental therapy, doctors' appointments and medical testing, I have 22 appointments this month. No wonder I spend my time in such a daze. Just getting out the door is a major obstacle, never mind the psychic energy needed to cope! I am a weak sister these days! (But also a VERY strong one, just to keep going)  

Plus I have gone down on the pain patch(I have used a 50 for 15 month, am now on a 25) so my pain level is way up. I want off the patch so I can feel less drugged, and for the upcoming surgeries. And I do not like my pain management doctor at all, but have not had the energy to begin the search for a new one yet.  

Twenty-two appointments may be a record for me, even after last month's hospitalization, especially since I am lugging an oxygen tank along with me full time. I have tried different sizes, and now settle for whichever one is nearest to the door as I struggle out the door.  

I have a date for pre-testing for the gastric bypass surgery: July 11th. That means I will have the surgery before August 11th, because the pre-testing is only good for 30 days. Now all I have to do is not gain ANY weight between now and then or the surgeon will make me lose 50 lbs before he will do it. I certainly understand the premise. If I am committing to change for the rest of my life, a few weeks in a holding pattern is not too much to ask, but it is very hard not to fall into the "just one more time" syndrome about all the food I love to eat.  

Yesterday I had an appointment with a workers' comp doctor, who said (of course) that the pin in my arm does not need to come out. My orthopedist says it might help the pain. I want it out, so my attorney will have to do his stuff. I would be enormously frustrated, except that I want the weight loss surgery done first, because it will make the 2nd surgery safer if I am smaller.  

Today I prep for tomorrow's colonoscopy, a must because of my mother's rectal cancer last year- this year's surgery was due to scar tissue and adhesions from the first two surgeries, but, Goddess bless her, she is hanging in. I so want her to see me lose weight.   

Blessings, Margo      

Saturday, May 14, 2005

And Life Goes On

  I want to be philosophical and humorous- surely it is time to write an entry that is light and funny, with just a bit of irony thrown in for good measure. Alas, life is not giving me that at the moment.  

 I am inundated by doctors appointments, tethered to oxygen, and sad because three good people I knew and cared about have died recently. The first was Dennis, the husband of MaryJo, who is Rene's best friend. He died while I was in CO, and Rene went to NJ for the funeral without me, so I came home to an empty house(except for the dogs). Dennis was a good and funny Irishman, and I  miss his e-mails daily.  

The second was Reece, the brother-in-law of a good friend, who died at 38, after a long illness. He did some building for us, and was funny, bright and loving. He left a young widow and step-son. The world is a poorer place for his passing.  

The third, Ginny, was an old friend from PLP-the place in PA my parents have a summer home. She lived there year round for many, many years, and we always fitted in a short visit every time I went there. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and had decided not to fight it. She was only 63 or so, and I remember crying when I got in the car last fall after a brief goodbye-for-the-winter visit, but I thought for sure I'd see her again this spring. 

On a brighter note, Rene and I went to a group informational meeting with the doctor at Yale-New Haven Hospital who will do my gastric bypass. It looks as if I will have the surgery mid-July, after Rene gets back from a WWII 60th Anniversary Tour she is taking in late June (lucky woman!).  

There were about 25 of us at the meeting, with nearly half of us supported by significant other or friend. Those of us who need the surgery range from merely fat to severely morbidly obese, and we fell into two groups: those of us who have over researched the subject and those who really had no clue. I fell into the former group, of course. (I am a researcher at heart.) Luckily, I liked the surgeon, his outlook, his attitude, and, most of all, his surgical statistics, which are very good, as I have nearly 200 pounds to lose.  

<FONTSIZE=4>This is not going to turn into a diet journal, I assure you, but weightloss surgery and the loss of the weight afterwards will no doubt echo through these pages as they reverberate through my life in the coming months. I will ask for support as the time approaches.  (don't know  why this is small while the rest is bigger)

Meanwhile, I have been going out most days, to doctors' appointments, physical therapy, Glenn, my personal trainer, and for walks, all hauling my oxygen tank along with me, trying to lap up the last bit of Spring before Summer arrives.

Blessings, Margo